Family Seminar

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Access the ship’s hydrophone, splashcam, underwater video camera or video microscope while coursing through this region teeming with marine life

Watch massive walls of ice calve from glaciers into the crystal-blue waters of Tracy Arm

Gain an understanding of Alaska’s heritage while visiting members of a local Tlingit community

Cruise, kayak or paddleboard in pristine bays and sounds while searching for whales in the sea and bald eagles and bears on the shore

Faculty leader

Franklin Orr

Franklin “Lynn” Orr Jr., ’69, joined the Stanford faculty in 1985 and is a former dean of Stanford’s School of Earth Sciences. He also recently served as an undersecretary for science and energy at the U.S. Department of Energy. His energy research has focused on how complex fluid mixtures move around in the porous rocks of the Earth’s crust and the design of gas injection processes for enhanced oil recovery. He says, “Northern Alaska, Hudson Bay, Iceland and Greenland have convinced me that the northern latitudes give us essential clues about the effects of climate change. The climate has changed much more rapidly in Alaska than it has in lower latitudes, and we will be able to see firsthand some of the changes that have occurred.”

During our program, he will discuss the consequences of climate change on humans and wildlife in Alaska and the Arctic, as well as the transition to clean energy systems that will help us reduce the adverse effects of climate change in the future, and he will lead family-friendly activities to illustrate the existence of seasons and climates.


July 19–25, 2021
Day 1

Arrive Juneau, Alaska

Arrive in Alaska and head to our hotel to check in and later enjoy a welcome reception and orientation. BARANOF DOWNTOWN

Day 2

Juneau / Embark

Start our day in Juneau with our faculty leader’s first lecture while young explorers gather in their groups. Then take off on an excursion to Mendenhall Glacier and the Mount Roberts Tram and visit the Alaska State Museum before embarking on our ship. NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC SEA LION (B,D)

Day 3

Tracy Arm or Endicott Arm

Awaken in the cradle of Tracy Arm or Endicott Arm, both spectacular glacially carved fjords, to seethe towering Dawes Glacier, or the South Sawyer Glacier, which has been described as bluer than any blue on earth. Keep an eye out for harbor seals, porpoises and arctic terns while aboard a Zodiac. NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC SEA LION (B,L,D)

Day 4


Continuing our cruise, we’ll explore Haines, known as the adventure capital of Alaska. If you are feeling adventurous, choose from one of many world-class hikes, cycle along the edge of a glacial fjord or take an optional flightseeing excursion over Glacier Bay National Park. Or choose to visit the ancient Tlingit village of Klukwan for a dance demonstration and cultural interpretation before rafting down the Chilkat River. NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC SEA LION (B,L,D)

Day 5

Inian Islands / Icy Strait

Cruise by Zodiac among the Inian Islands in the wildlife-rich waters of Icy Strait, where numerous pods of Steller sea lions reside. By special permission from the U.S. Forest Service, hike on nearby islands and/or kayak in the calm outer waters of Glacier Bay. Conditions permitting, our naturalists will lower the ship’s hydrophone so we can listen in on the whales as they communicate. NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC SEA LION (B,L,D)

Day 6

Baranof or Chichagof Islands

The following day starts with kayaking in one of the many pristine inlets of either the Baranof or Chichagof islands as we watch bald eagles soaring overhead. In the afternoon join our ship’s naturalists for a hike and learn about rain forests’ climates and the animals that inhabit them. This evening enjoy a farewell reception and dinner to celebrate our rewarding adventure. NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC SEA LION (B,L,D)

Day 7

Sitka / Disembark / Travel Home

After disembarking in Sitka, if time allows explore the beautifully situated town, learning of its Russian heritage and visiting its raptor rehabilitation center. Depart for the airport for afternoon flights home.

Day 8

Day 9

Day 10

Day 11

Day 12

Day 13

Map of trip's locations
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Map of trip's ship

Our ship

The National Geographic Sea Lion is a tried-and-true expedition ship, chartered exclusively for Stanford. With a shallow draft and small size, she can easily reach places inaccessible to larger ships. The Sea Lion offers comfortable accommodations in 31 outside cabins. The ship offers inviting public spaces, including a library, lounge and observation deck, and is equipped with tools for exploration that guarantee an in-depth experience, including a hydrophone, underwater camera, bow cam, kayaks and Zodiacs. Cabins range in size from 90 to 120 square feet, depending on the category.

Gross tonnage: 99 / Overall length: 152 ft. / Beam: 31 ft. / Capacity: 62 passengers, 31 staff and crew

Category 1

Cabins 300-305

Main Deck cabin with 2 twin beds and a large window, 94 sq. ft.

$7,295 per adult, double occupancy; $8,795 single occupancy

$6,795 per child, double occupancy

Category 2

Cabins 100-104, 200-212, 215

Upper or Bridge Deck cabin with 2 twin beds and a large window, 90 sq. ft.

$8,495 per adult, double occupancy; $9,995 single occupancy

$7,995 per child, double occupancy

Category 3 Triple

Cabins 214, 216, 217, 219

Upper Deck cabin with either two twin beds or one double bed and a pull-out single bed (recommended for children only), two large windows and a small sitting area, 120 sq. ft.

$9,895 per adult, double occupancy

$9,395 per child, double occupancy

Category 3 Double

Cabins 105-106

Bridge Deck cabin with two twin beds, two large windows and a small sitting area, 116 sq. ft.

$10,795 per adult, double occupancy

$10,295 per child, double occupancy

Trip details

Group size / age

This trip requires a minimum of 17 participants and is limited to 57. Travel/Study is committed to providing a low-density experience on this and all programs and will implement protocols to do so, including social distancing on transportation, as well as during lectures, meals and excursions. Single accommodations are limited—please call for availability.

Minimum age: 6


See ship details for cabin category descriptions and rates.

*Stanford Alumni Association nonmembers add $300 per person.


1 night of deluxe hotel accommodations · 5-night cruise aboard the National Geographic Sea Lion · 5 breakfasts, 4 lunches and 5 dinners · Welcome and farewell receptions · Gratuities to guides and drivers for all group activities · All tours and excursions as described in the itinerary · Transfers and baggage handling on embarkation and departure days · Optional flightseeing excursion over Glacier Bay National Park (included in trip cost) · Use of stand-up paddleboards, kayaks and expedition landing equipment, as well as tools for exploration: hydrophone, splash cam, underwater video camera, video microscope · On-tour quarantine-related trip-cancellation, -interruption and -delay insurance coverage · General medical, accident and evacuation insurance · Educational program with lecture series and predeparture materials, including an education resource list and travel information · Services of our professional tour manager to assist you throughout the program

Not included

Your personal flights to and from the program · Immunization costs · Meals and beverages other than those specified as included · Transfers and baggage handling on program arrival day · Independent and private transfers · Nonquarantine-related trip-cancellation, -interruption and -delay insurance coverage · Baggage insurance · Excess-baggage charges · Personal items such as internet access, telephone calls, laundry, spa services and gratuities for nongroup services

Air arrangements

Your personal flights to and from the program · Immunization costs · Meals and beverages other than those specified as included · Transfers and baggage handling on program arrival day · Independent and private transfers · Nonquarantine-related trip-cancellation, -interruption and -delay insurance coverage · Baggage insurance · Excess-baggage charges · Personal items such as internet access, telephone calls, laundry, spa services and gratuities for nongroup services

Room arrangements

What to expect

Our Family Adventures are built from the ground up, keeping families traveling with children in mind. That means that everything from the timing to the activities to the special events are selected to enhance the overall experience for your entire family. A typical day may start with breakfast, followed by a stimulating lecture by the faculty leader while kids meet with their Young Explorer groups for learning-based, fun activities with their peers. Then depart on a hike with fellow travelers. In the evening, partake in a fun family activity, perhaps the all-time favorite, Stanford Family Feud. On occasion, the kids will go off adventuring with their Young Explorer leaders while grownups enjoy adults-only activities.

Travelers should be in good health and physical condition. Schedules sometimes include long days with early wake-up calls and activities scheduled throughout the day (and sometimes into the evenings). There will be several hikes of varying duration and difficulty offered, as well as opportunities to explore by kayak and Zodiac. We may encounter a wide range of weather conditions on this expedition. Keep in mind that it is always cooler on water than on land, and that southeast Alaska is a temperate rain forest region. Although southeast Alaska occasionally experiences warm weather, the average high is 65 F and the average low is 48 F. Be prepared for rain and for it to be quite cold when cruising near glaciers. A key element to your comfort and enjoyment is sufficient protection, both in clothing and footwear. Layering will ensure your comfort and protection from the elements, and knee-high, waterproof boots will keep your feet sufficiently dry and warm. Note: The atmosphere aboard is casual; formal dress is not expected.

Request information

This program is still in development. Dates are subject to change and details on trip costs are not yet available. Submit your request to be among the first to receive notification when final details are available. At that time, you will have the opportunity to place a deposit, ahead of our general audience.


Get started

If you’re ready to reserve your trip, click on the “reserve” button below to place a deposit. Please note: you’ll need to log into your Stanford Alumni Association account to complete the transaction. You do not need to be a Stanford Alumni Association member or an alum to create an account.

Questions? Call the Travel/Study office at (650) 725-1093.


Contact us

For all other inquiries, complete the form below or email us at and a Travel/Study associate will contact you within one to two business days.

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Stanford Travel/Study Terms and Conditions


We encourage membership in the Stanford Alumni Association as the program cost for nonmembers is $300 more than the members' price. A person traveling as a guest paid for by a current member will not be charged the nonmember fee. To purchase a membership, call (650) 725-0692 or visit for more information.

Deposits, Payments and Cancellations

A $1,000 deposit is required to reserve space. Deposits and any payments are fully refundable until 90 days prior to departure. After that date, refunds can be made only if the program is sold out and your place(s) is resold, in which case a $1,000-per-person cancellation fee will apply.


Stanford Travel/Study provides all travelers who are U.S. or Canadian citizens with minimal medical, accident and evacuation coverage, as well as on-tour quarantine-related trip-cancellation, -interruption and -delay insurance coverage, under our group-travel insurance policy. Our group policy is intended to provide minimal levels of protection while you are traveling on this program. You may choose to subscribe to optional nonquarantine-related trip-cancellation, -interruption and -delay insurance coverage and/or baggage insurance. Information offering such insurance will be included in your confirmation materials. The product offered includes special benefits if you purchase your insurance within 14 days of receiving your welcome email.


The Stanford Alumni Association, Stanford University and our operators act only as agents for the passenger with respect to transportation and ship arrangements and exercise every care possible in doing so. However, we can assume no liability for injury, damage, loss, accident, delay or irregularity in connection with the service of any automobile, motorcoach, launch or any other conveyance used in carrying out this program or for the acts or defaults of any company or person engaged in conveying the passenger or in carrying out the arrangements of the program. We cannot accept any responsibility for losses or additional expenses due to delay or changes in air or other services, sickness, weather, strike, war, quarantine, force majeure or other causes beyond our control. All such losses or expenses will have to be borne by the passenger as tour rates include arrangements only for the time stated. We reserve the right to make such alterations to this published itinerary as may be deemed necessary. The right is reserved to cancel any program prior to departure in which case the entire payment will be refunded without further obligation on our part. The right is also reserved to decline to accept or retain any person as a member of the program. No refund will be made for an unused portion of any tour unless arrangements are made in sufficient time to avoid penalties. Baggage is carried at the owner's risk entirely. It is understood that the ship's ticket, when issued, shall constitute the sole contract between the passenger and the cruise company. The airlines concerned are not to be held responsible for any act, omission or event during the time passengers are not on board their plane or conveyance. Neither the Stanford Alumni Association, Stanford University nor our operators accept liability for any carrier's cancellation penalty incurred by the purchase of a nonrefundable ticket in connection with the tour. Program price is based on rates in effect at the time the brochure is published and is subject to change without notice to reflect fluctuations in exchange rates, tariffs or fuel charges. As a condition of participation, all confirmed participants are required to sign an Assumption of Risk.

California Seller of Travel Program Registration #2048 523-50

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